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Pair of tefillin with an embroidered green velvet bag used by a Czech Jewish refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2009.147.2 a-c

Tefillin set and green velvet storage pouch used by Franz Meissner who left Czechoslovakia for Denmark in October 1939. Tefillin are small boxes that contain prayers that are attached to leather straps and worn by Orthodox Jewish males during morning prayers. Franz, age 16, left Trest in October 1939 because of the increasing persecution of Jews as Czechoslovakia was dismembered by Nazi Germany and its allies. With the encouragement of his family, he left for Denmark with Youth Aliyah, a organization that helped people to emigrate to Palestine. In 1943, the Germans began to deport all Jews from Denmark. Frank was warned that the Gestapo was looking for him and he was smuggled on a fishing boat to Sweden. He had been receiving weekly letters from his family, even after their deportation to the Theresienstadt ghetto in 1942; the letters stopped in 1943. After completing his education, Franz left for Great Britain where he joined the Czech army in exile. In the fall of 1944, Franz learned that his family had been sent to Auschwitz death camp. After the war, he returned to Czechoslovakia, searching for his family, but he found no survivors.

emigration:  1939 October
received: Trest (Czech Republic)
Jewish Art and Symbolism
Object Type
Tefillin (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Margit Meissner
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 21:51:06
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